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Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and…

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Cheryl Strayed

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4213425,173 (4.27)51
Title:Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
Authors:Cheryl Strayed
Info:Vintage (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed (2012)


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from my Facebook post:

there are plenty of things I could say about the book "Tiny Beautiful Things" by Cheryl Strayed. for example, it's one of the most important books I have ever read. or, I read this book at a time I needed it most. or, this book is for people who think they know exactly who they are and for people who have no f*cking idea who that is.

but mostly, I just want to say this: I strongly believe that every single one of you should read this. or parts of this. go to the library and flip through it. pirate it online. buy a copy and put it in your bathroom, I don't care! read this. something in there will grab you and shake you and perhaps it will be unwanted or uncomfortable but it is entirely necessary. read this. read this. read this. ( )
  emma_mc | Oct 30, 2014 |
This book is pretty much awesome. Mind-blowing. Eye-opening. Thought-provoking. Etc.

There is something in there for everyone and often more than one thing, and there are things that I know I will go back and read again later (which means I have to buy the book because I read a library copy) and probably fill it with markings and underlinings and notes in the margins.

While I was reading this book, I mainly stopped so that I could text quotes to friends in faraway places or tell them to GO GET THIS BOOK NOW.

Also, knowing that Cheryl Strayed lives in Portland, it was fun to see a few sneaky references to the city (the column was written anonymously). I kept track of some of these, my favorite being about going to "see the elephants at the zoo". (We love our zoo elephants. which reminds me, I still haven't seen Lily!! Ack!)

Anyway. Read this book. You don't even have to read it all at once. Buy this book and then look at it when you are sad or bored or have a problem.

Oh, and also, I have read a lot of comments about their being too much of "Sugar"s personal life/experiences in the columns. I don't get that. It's an advice column. When you ask someone for advice you are usually asking them because they have experience with that issue. If I ask a friend for dating advice I am asking her to draw on her dating experience. If a grandparent gives me some advice, they are basing it on an experience that they had, and I will probably take it into account because I know that not only they have had that experience, but that they have also had a long time to reflect on that experience. So I don't get the idea of keeping personal life out of advice. That is the whole point of advice - to hear about others' personal experiences and how they may or may not apply in your situation. ( )
  GraceZ | Sep 6, 2014 |
Steve Almond's introduction will get you excited about this book if you aren't already, and Cheryl Strayed's advice is compassionate and wise. In nearly every column, she includes a story (or stories) from her own life to make her point. The audiobook is excellent.


From Steve Almond's introduction ("I Was Sugar Once: Lessons in Radical Empathy"):

Inexplicable sorrows await all of us. That was her essential point.

She is able to transmute the raw material of the self-help aisle into genuine literature.

...within the chaos of our shame and disappointment and rage there is meaning, and within that meaning is the possibility of rescue. (7)

She understands that attention is the first and final act of love, and that the ultimate dwindling resource in the human arrangement isn't cheap oil or potable water or even common sense, but mercy. (7)


Our minds are small, but our hearts are big. (81)

Forgiveness forces an impossible internal face-off....Acceptance asks only that you embrace what's true. (113)

Whatever happens to you belongs to you. (133)

And every last one of us can do better than give up. (155)

...what you've got left after the fools have departed are the old souls and the true hearts. (155)

Telling has a way of dispersing things. (159)

How long do you try? (169)

I am not a religious person. I don't meditate, chant, or pray. But lines from poems I love run through my head and they feel holy to me in a way. (267)

My grief is tremendous, but my love is bigger. (282)

We learn from experience, but no need to keep learning the same things from the same experiences over and over again, right? (337) ( )
  JennyArch | May 23, 2014 |
Cheryl Strayed can write, no question about it. A number of her responses left me in or near tears. My issues with the book lie mostly in what the book is: a grouping of advice columns.

So the profoundly moving sections are interspersed with the more everyday responses and it can get a little old. I am not sure that this is Strayed's fault because most of our problems aren't that interesting. I am not sure that I would have finished this book in it's entirety if I hadn't been listening to it as an audiobook. I'd likely have skimmed portions of the book if I was reading a real paper copy. ( )
  dtn620 | May 22, 2014 |
I actually saw Cheryl Strayed read this in San Francisco last year (2012). While sometimes the "sweetheart" got old for me, I really really love her direct, no-holds-barred advice. I like to pick this up from time to time to read, rather than reading this in a linear, chapter fashion. ( )
  ericasmithx | May 6, 2014 |
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Long ago, before there was a Sugar, there was Stephen Elliot. - Introduction
What is this book? It's a selection of Dear Sugar columns. - Part One
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"Tiny Beautiful Things" brings the best of Cheryl Strayed's published and never-before-published online columns in one place and includes a new introduction by Steve Almond.

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